Friday, 4 September 2015

Windows Privacy Issues.

I was planning to post about something else today (new shoes! more Hugo thoughts! progress in the embroidery!), but my morning reading of semi-random internet stuff has left me frantically de-installing some Windows updates.

If you're using Windows and value your privacy, this concerns you. As you might have noticed, Win10 is being rolled out and offered for free for a while (where "while" might mean at least several months). I have completely ignored that up to now, as I'm happy with my Win7 and not planning to move from it unless absolutely necessary... so I've also missed the privacy concerns with Win10. Apparently, once you install the new OS, you allow Microsoft to look at or download (upload-to-cloud) almost all your data, and even pass it on. All. Your. Data. (More about Win10 privacy. And even more.) 

The agreements to this very broad, very inclusive data-sharing is included in the End User Licence Agreement. The EULA. You know, that long, long text of semi-legalese gibberish that almost nobody anywhere reads... so once you install Win10, you agree that MS may have All Your Data.

But. But! Similar tools to pull your data have also been rolled out, quietly, as updates to Win7 and Win8. If you have automatic updates enabled, or have manually installed them, your computer is allowed to share your data on Microsoft's terms.

There was no warning or easily accessible information about what the updates would do... so I did install them. I do value my privacy, and data security, so I would never have agreed to this had I been aware, and frankly, I'm really pissed at MS about this.

Really, Microsoft? Really? I am looking sternly at you. That is not good behaviour. Even a kitty can tell.

Fortunately, lovely tech-savvy people on the Internet have posted instructions on how to uninstall the updates that are passing on your data from Win7 and Win8. Which is what I am doing right now. Care to join me?

Oh, and please pass this information around to your friends, colleagues, enemies, whomever - data security and a right to privacy is for everyone. And Microsoft should not get away with this!

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